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A behavioral and neurological evaluation of dry cleaners exposed to perchloroethylene.

Tuttle TC; Wood GD; Grether CB; Johnson BL; Xintaras C
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 77-214, 1977 Jun; :1-88
The possible adverse effects of perchloroethylene (127184) on workers' neurologic status and behavioral performance were examined in 27 volunteers who worked in various dry cleaning jobs. Of this number, 18 were exposed daily by nature of their job to various levels of the compound and had a mean 8 hour time weighted average (TWA) exposure of 18ppm over the 5 days of testing. The 9 males within the exposed group, however, had a mean TWA exposure of 32ppm. Neurological examinations showed a significant difference between neurological ratings for exposed workers versus controls. However, multiple regression analyses suggest the neurological deficits to be related to workers' prior exposure to Stoddard's-Solvent (8052413), not perchloroethylene. The effects of acute perchloroethylene exposure were examined by giving workers behavioral performance tests both prior to work and following work over a 5 day period. Although significant differences in performance of some perception and psychomotor tests were found, multiple regression analysis showed the post shift performance decrements to be significantly correlated with a measure of fatigue, not with perchloroethylene exposure that occurred during the workshift. In summary, no evidence was found of deleterious effects of perchloroethylene on workers' neurologic health or behavioral performance. However, findings strongly suggest the involvement of Stoddard's Solvent as a factor accounting for an increased incidence of abnormally large neurologic scores. (Contract No. 099-73-0035)
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Contract; Contract-099-73-0035; Dry-cleaning-solvents; Neurotoxicity; Chlorinated-ethylenes; Nervous-system-disorders; Air-quality-measurement; Toxicology; Statistical-analysis
127-18-4; 8052-41-3
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DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 77-214; Contract-099-73-0035
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: January 28, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division